Ezekiel 4:4 Doing What Seems Crazy

“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.” Ezekiel 4:4

As God was getting ready to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people into exile, He sent various prophets to warn the people. Ezekiel was one who brought the message of the coming destruction to the people. One of the ways God wanted to show that message was by having Ezekiel lie on his side on the ground for 390 days and bear the sins of the people. Reading later it shows in the same chapter that after this event, he had to roll over and lie for another forty days.

There are times when God has a person do something that seems crazy. For the person, it may seem insane to do what God has asked him to do. God asked Moses to go before Pharaoh to ask him to release the slaves. He asked Moses to cross a sea on foot. He asked Jeremiah to defy the king. He asked John to step out of a boat and walk on water. He asked Jesus to die on the cross.

Each and everything God has asked a person to do was for a purpose. That purpose was greater than the pain, suffering or fear that person might have had in doing it. His goal is to build His kingdom and restore all people to Him.

God may one day ask you to do something that seems crazy. It may go against the norm of most people, including believers. It may be life threatening. It may be painful.

What God may ask of you, may not be the same as what Ezekiel had to do, in fact, read the Bible and very few people did the same exact crazy thing twice. However, it may be crazy by today’s normal standards, or just crazy for you. It could be just be willing to take a hard stand for Jesus; telling someone about Jesus; going into an area to be a witness that is dangerous; quitting a good paying job to do another work for God in a different place; and the list goes on.

Will you be willing to do whatever God asks of you, regardless of how crazy it seems?

Or would you reject God’s request?

I pray today that God will show you what He wants you to do; that He will give you strength to do the work; that love for God and His people will be strong enough for you to do what God wants; and that you will work to build God’s kingdom each day.

Luke 1:38 Willing Acceptance

“I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38

An angel had just appeared to Mary. She was a single girl who was pledged to be married. The angel brings some interesting news. He states that she would have a child.

Mary had never been with a man, so this child would come by the power of God. It would be done by a miracle of God.

The amazing thing is how willingly she accepts this message.

Think about the implications of her having a child. She is a virgin and is pledged to get married to Joseph. If she becomes pregnant, in the eyes of the world, only one of two things must have happened: she was unfaithful to Joseph and slept around, or she and Joseph had slept together.

This type of situation would make her and Joseph look very bad. What kind of thoughts would be going through a church today if a single, young, virgin girl was suddenly pregnant in the church? The rumor mill would be running at full strength. Many would look down upon her and her parents.

Mary had to have known all of these things immediately upon hearing the angel’s message to her. Yet, she states that she is just a servant of God and may His word be fulfilled. She accepts the job of having God’s child outside of wedlock.

What can you get out of this? God will never ask you to have His child in the same way, but He may ask you to do something else that is just as crazy.

God may ask you to do something that on the outside looks bad or dangerous. It may be something that seems to put you and your family into great danger. The world, and even many in the church, will say don’t do it.

Are you a willing servant of God? Are you willing to do His desires? Are you trusting that His word be fulfilled in your life, no matter how crazy it is?

Trust God and serve Him. He is in control and knows what is best. Be like Mary in being His servant. Do not run or fear His desires.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you; that you will be led by His Holy Spirit; that you will not fear His plans; that you will be His servant; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Mark 11:8-9 Praising Him

“Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Lord!” Mark 11:8-9

Jesus was heading back into Jerusalem for the last time. He knew that He was ultimately going to His death. As He came riding in on a colt, the people gave Him praise.

The people went to the extreme in praising and honoring Jesus. They would lay their cloaks on the road for the donkey to walk upon. They felt He was of such high honor that the donkey should not even touch the dirty ground.

Along with laying down their cloaks, they also shouted praises. Hosanna means to save. They were wanting Him to save them. Although at the time, they were looking more at salvation from Rome, than from their sins.

They also shouted that He is blessed and was coming in the name of the Lord. They saw that God was blessings Him. They also knew that Jesus was coming in the name of God, in His power and authority.

These people went above and beyond what was needed. They were in a sense going extreme on their honoring Jesus, although He deserved it. In the eyes of the world, Jesus was just a good teacher or prophet, nothing more. No other prophet or teacher had received this type of honor.

How should this affect you today? Are you going a little bit crazy about Jesus?

If you realize who Jesus really is, and what He is doing, and has done for you, you will be crazy about Him. You will be willing to do crazy things to let others know about Him.

How many people go crazy about a famous celebrity or sports team? What do they do? Many crazy things are done.

How much more does Jesus deserve? Shout out loud praises of Jesus. Let the world know about Him and who He is. Let the world know He is coming again. Let the world know Jesus is there for them.

I pray today that you will have no fear in praising God openly; that God will reveal more of Himself to you; that you will tell the world who Jesus is; that you will tell the world Jesus is coming again; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 16:23 Concerns of God

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:23

Jesus had just told the disciples about how He was going taken by the chief priests, abused, killed, and raised to life. Peter hears this and pulls Him aside stating that he would never allow that to happen. Jesus then rebukes Peter very sharply.

The rebuke links Peter with Satan. Peter was not following the will of God. If a person does not follow the will of God, he has to be following the will of Satan.

Notice that Peter did not listen to everything Jesus had just told them. Jesus stated He would be raised to life again. All Peter caught was the suffering and death.

In life, even today, you must hear all of what God is saying to you. Do not take just a part of it, you may miss out on the best part.

As Jesus rebukes Peter, He states that he is a stumbling block because he is not concerned what God is concerned with. Peter is looking at only the short-term consequences, not the long, eternal consequences of what is going to happen.

Looking from a human perspective, Peter was thinking correctly. How crazy is it for a person to purposefully go to what will be guaranteed death? Why would anyone want to do that? Why would God ever want someone to do that?

God may never ask you to go forward to what is going to bring about your death, but He may ask you to do some other crazy thing. Every day you are called by God to trust Him in and for everything.

He may lead you to be a witness to someone who hates Christians and has been known to bring about harm. You may be asked to step out in faith in giving more than ever before.

God is concerned about here and now, but He is also concerned about eternity of the soul. Everything God does and has you do is with the purpose to build you more like Jesus and save your soul and to save everyone else.

Where are your concerns today? Are you concerned with what God is concerned about? Or are you just concerned about yourself and today? Focus on God and trust Him.

I pray today that God will reveal His concerns to you; that you will trust God in following Him; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to lead and guide you; that you will not be a stumbling block for God; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.